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Locarno winners include Chinese doc 'Mrs. Fang', Isabelle Huppert

UPDATE: Audience award winner revealed; Good Manners, Winter Brothers also among winners.

Documentary filmmaker Wang Bing became the fifth director from China in Locarno’s seven-decade history to win the top honour of the Golden Leopard at this year’s edition.

Mrs. Fang, which is the first documentray ever to win the festival’s top prize, follows the last days of a 67-year-old Alzheimer’s patient in southern China.

Previous Golden Leopard winners from China were Hongqui Li with Winter Vacation in 2010 and Xiaolu Guo with She, a Chinese a year before, as well as Shuo Wang with Father in 2000 and Yue Lü with Mr Zhao in 1998.

The decision by the international competition jury, headed by director Olivier Assayas, reflects a trend at international festivals of recent years for documentaries beating out competition from fiction productions.

While the special jury prize went to the Brazilian writing and directing team Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra’s Good Manners about an unlikely friendship between a rich woman and her nanny in Sao Paulo, the other Leopard trophies honoured cinema made in Europe.

Huppert

Cult filmmaker FJ Ossang picked up the Leopard for best direction for his film noir-esque drama 9 Fingers, while French actress Isabelle Huppert’s portrayal of a physics teacher undergoing a major personality shift in Serge Bozon’s Madame Hyde garnered the Leopard for best actress.

Meanwhile, Elliott Crosset Hove took home the best actor Leopard for his performance in Icelandic director Hlynur Palmason’s feature debut Winter Brothers against strong competition from the likes of 91-year-old veteran Harry Dean Stanton who had been tipped by many festival-goers as a favourite to win the trophy for his role in actor John Carroll Lynch’s  directorial debut Lucky, the winner of this year’s ecumenical jury prize.

Winter Brothers also picked up the Europa Cinemas Label, a special mention from the ecumenical jury, and the first prize from the junior Jury.

The FIPRESCI prize went to another Chinese film in the international competition, Dragonfly Eyes by first-time filmmaker Xu Bing, who also garnered a special mention from the ecumenical jury for his use of CCTV footage to create a fictional drama about a man searching for love.

During Saturday evening’s closing ceremony, the festival’s audience award with a cash prize of CHF30,000, the Prix du Public UBS, went to Michael Showalter’s The Big Sick after the festival-goers rated the multicultural relationship comedy as the top film of the nightly open-air programme ahead of other Piazza Grande titles such as Sparring, Lola Pater and Iceman.

This year’s festival also saw Locarno joining forces for the first time with the Council of Europe’s Eurimages fund to present the second edition of the Audentia Award for best female director to Valérie Massadian for her film Milla.

Receiving the statuette and a cash prize of €30,000 from the hands of the Iranian actress Goldshifteh Farahani, Massadian observed: “women directors are here and they’re here to stay.“

The first edition of the Audentia Award was presented during last year’s Istanbul Film Festival to the Romanian director-producer-screenwriter Anca Damian for her film The Magic Mountain as part of a move to promote greater gender equality in the European film industry.

The full list of winners:

International Competition

Golden Leopard

MRS. FANG by WANG Bing, France, China, Germany

Special Jury Prize

AS BOAS MANEIRAS by Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra, Brazil, France

Leopard for Best Direction

F. J. OSSANG for 9 DOIGTS, France, Portugal

Leopard for Best Actress

ISABELLE HUPPERT for MADAME HYDE by Serge Bozon, France, Belgium

Leopard for Best Actor

ELLIOTT CROSSET HOVE for WINTER BROTHERS by Hlynur Pálmason, Denmark, Iceland

Prix du Public UBS

THE BIG SICK

Filmmakers of the Present Competition

Golden Leopard

3/4 (THREE QUARTERS) by Ilian Metev, Bulgarien, Germany

Special Jury Prize Ciné+

MILLA by Valerie Massadian, France, Portugal

Prize for the Best Emerging Director – Città e Regione di Locarno

DAE-HWAN KIM for CHO-HAENG (The First Lap), South Korea

Special Mention

DISTANT CONSTELLATION by Shevaun Mizrahi, USA,Turkey,Netherlands

VERÃO DANADO by Pedro Cabeleira, Portugal

Signs of Life Competition

Signs of Life Award electronic-art.foundation for Best Film

COCOTE by Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Germany, Qatar

Fondación Casa Wabi – Mantarraya Award

DANE KOMLJEN for PHANTASIESÄTZE, Germany, Denmark

Special Mention

ERA UMA VEZ BRASÍLIA by Adirley Queirós, Brazil, Portugal

First Feature Awards

Swatch First Feature Award (Prize for Best First Feature)

SASHISHI DEDA (Scary Mother) by Ana Urushadze, Georgia, Estland

Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award

METEORLAR (Meteors) by Gürcan Keltek, Netherlands,Turkey

Special Mention

DENE WOS GUET GEIT (Those Who Are Fine) by Cyril Schäublin, Switzerland

Leopards of Tomorrow

International Competition

Pardino d’Oro for the Best International Short Film – Premio SRG SSR

ANTÓNIO E CATARINA by Cristina Hanes, Portugal

Pardino d’Argento SRG SSR for the Concorso Internazionale

SHMAMA by Miki Polonski, Israel

Locarno Nomination for the European Film Awards – Premio Pianifica

JEUNES HOMMES À LA FENÊTRE by Loukianos Moshonas, France

Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Award

KAPITALISTIS by Pablo Muñoz Gomez, Belgium,France

National Competition

Pardino d’Oro for the Best Swiss Short Film – Premio Swiss Life

REWIND FORWARD by Justin Stoneham, Switzerland

Pardino d’Argento Swiss Life for the Concorso Nazionale

59 SECONDES by Mauro Carraro, Switzerland

Best Swiss Newcomer Award

LES INTRANQUILLES by Magdalena Froger, Switzerland

Special Mention

ARMAGEDDON 2 by Corey Hughes, Cuba

Variety Piazza Grande Award

THREE PEAKS (DREI ZINNEN) by Jan Zabeil, Germany, Italy

Ecumenical Prize

LUCKY by John Carroll Lynch, USA

Special Mention

WINTER BROTHERS by Hlynur Pálmason, Danmark, Iceland

QING TING ZHI YAN (Dragonfly Eyes) by XU Bing, China, USA

FIPRESCI Prize

QING TING ZHI YAN (Dragonfly Eyes) by XU BING, China, USA

Europa Cinemas Label

WINTER BROTHERS by Hlynur Pálmason, Danmark, Iceland

Junior Jury Awards

First Prize: WINTER BROTHERS by Hlynur Pálmason, Denmark, Iceland

Don Quijote Prize of the FICC/IFFS

WAJIB by Annemarie Jacir, Palestine

Semaine de la critique

SRG SSR Prize/Semaine de la critique

DRUŽINA (The Family) by Rok Bicek, Slovenia, Austria

Audentia Award of Eurimages

MILLA by Valerie Massadian, France, Portugal

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